Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (John 14: 6-14)
Today’s Gospel begins with a proclamation from Jesus about his identity: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” His earliest followers were energized, particularly with this notion that Jesus was “the way” in which they could encounter what had previously been considered a distant Father. The God of their ancestors had not been approached since Moses met him on Mount Sinai, and, even then, the Father remained hidden. It must have been exhilarating to hear their friend and teacher speak of “the way!”
Of course, persecution and even martyrdom awaited those who chose to follow close to Our Lord on “the way.” How courageous this fledgling band of men and women were, aptly labeled people of “The Way.” Lord, let me never shy away from joyfully witnessing to you and your Way, encouraging others to follow you.
These early Christians understood that THE way was modeling their life after Christ’s/ To begin with, they had to put aside their perspective on the life they led before encountering Jesus Christ. They understood that that they had to get out of the way for Christ to step into their lives.
The most fundamental step we need to take as believers, is to get out of the way.
You see, God is acting in our lives and in our world, but we cannot be a part of that action if we become stuck on ourselves. And believe me there are a lot of ways to become stuck on ourselves. We can become stuck because we think we are so important. We can become stuck because we believe that we are worthless. We can become stuck because we think we are so holy. We can become stuck because we believe we are such sinners. We can become stuck because everyone admires us. We can become stuck because everyone ignores us.
How do you become a good parent? By being present, by being loving, by being wise. But also, by believing that God loves your children even more than you do and that God is already leading them to growth. How do we become successful in business? We do our research and act with integrity. But also believe that whatever we do is somehow being used by God as a part of a greater plan. How do we decide which college we should attend? We visit the schools and talk to family and friends. But the we trust that God will lead us to the right place.
If God were simply a creation of our own minds, then we would be in charge. But God is real, powerful and active. That is why we need to keep reminding ourselves, “I am not the prophet. I am not Elijah. I am not the Christ. I am a voice crying out, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord’”.
Make ready, then. Set yourself aside, and let Christ come through you.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, you are the way, and the truth, and the life. Following you is not always easy and is often not popular. However, strengthened by your sacraments, I am determined to discern and do your will. Grant me the grace to live in your truth, for your glory, and not be deterred by difficulties that arise in this relativistic world.”
When we contemplate life, we are prone to think of what sustains us here on Earth: breathing, eating, exercising, being in communion with others. But this life is “like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears” (James 4:14). Peter responded that he could not leave since Christ had “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Jesus Christ, indeed, not only gave his earliest followers a way to follow and a truth to savor, but also a life to live in fullness here and to take into eternity.